A MAN has been cleared of attacking two pensioners on a cruise ship after claiming he acted in self-defence.

Graeme Finlay, 53, from Glasgow, had become involved in an altercation with Ron Phillips, 70, and his 68-year-old wife June as the ship cruised around Lanzarote in January last year.

The incident stemmed from Mr Finlay feeling they snubbed him at dinner when he was sat at their table.

After bumping into each other at about 1am in the lift on the way back to their rooms, Mr Finlay raised the issue of dinner and tempers flared.

He said they ended up outside the couple's room where he was struck by something sharp and swung his arms in self-defence.

He told his trial at Teesside Crown Court that the incident had left him feeling ''deeply ashamed'' and he had not meant to cause them any harm.

After deliberating for less than an hour, the jury found him not guilty of unlawfully wounding Mr Phillips and not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Mrs Phillips.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Finlay said: ''I'm delighted and relieved. It's been very stressful for the last year and a half. I'm still very sorry about everything that happened but I told the truth. I'm very relieved, I stood to lose everything.''